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Inspiring Stories from Plano

The heart of our mission at VoyageDallas is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out the rising stars of Plano and surrounding areas below.

April Smith

I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember…churches, festivals, you name it! Like many other artists, I got my start in church and worked my way up through the local opry circuits as a teenager. When I was 18, I decided I knew more than everyone else, got married and started a family. Music was still my passion and I did continue to pursue it for the first nine years of my marriage. However, it began to take a toll on our relationship and I felt like I owed it to my kids to try everything I could to make it work. So I stepped away from music for almost seven years. When my dad died in 2014, I was lost. For two years, I cried every single day and just couldn’t understand why things weren’t getting easier. Then in 2016, I was asked to fill in at a festival for 30 minutes for a last-minute cancelation. After I sang, I had a gentlemen come up to me and say, “I don’t know where you’ve been or what you’ve been doing, but if you aren’t singing music every day of your life, you aren’t doing what God put you here to do. Read more>>

Blessing Esomchukwu

For as long as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a model. I have always been into photography as well, so I just always thought if I never got into modeling, I would just eventually tap into photography on a serious level one day. Growing up, I didn’t really have the connections, support, or resources to really start modeling. I was also an athlete for many years, so playing sports year round left me with little to no free time in high school. I felt like basketball was my passion at the time, but deep down inside, it didn’t really fulfill me the way I thought it did. My senior year of high school, I mentally checked out from basketball because I knew I wanted to try different things once I got to college. Many people don’t know this, but I also used to be extremely shy and insecure in my looks. That just made the idea of being in front of the camera even more overwhelming because I seriously believed that I wasn’t photogenic. At one point, it started to feel like a fantasy that would probably never happen. Once I got to college though, things slowly began to take a turn in the right direction. Read more>>

Jamie Terry

Our son Tory was a major driving factor…I used to work as a medical assistant and my husband is a teacher in a local DFW school district. We found it to be a struggle to get time off work to manage our son’s care. After my youngest daughter was born, I took some cake decorating classes and fell in love with them. My husband had already had some experience from working with his older sister who was a cake decorator. So, we decided to take those skills and start Just Cake It to hopefully assist in the high cost of healthcare for our son and daycare for our daughter, As far as how I got to where I am today is 1st God simply put. God strategically placed people in my path to encourage and uplift me in ways they probably never imagined. Also, my loving supportive hubby Jerry (my partner in this business and life) he sacrificed sleep to help fill orders and complete deliveries along with our daughters Jada & Taiylar, who washed dishes, whipped up frosting and assisted with packaging orders. And 3rd loyal clients spreading the word about us. Read more>>

Terrance Hutchins

I started my career in the financial services industry through an internship program with a large company during my senior year in college. I had a little sales experience previous to that but knew very little about money or the industry. I quickly fell in love with the idea of helping people along their financial journeys and I consumed as much content as possible related to investing and business. I graduated in December of 2008 from the University of North Texas with a business degree with a concentration in entrepreneurship. I ditched my plan of going to law school and went full-time building my own financial services business in March 2009 with the same firm. I had some early success but soon encountered many challenges. Read more>>

Stephen and Katie Bevilacqua

We’re a husband and wife duo with a passion for supporting local business, and we created Pothos Social to do just that. It is a digital marketing company with a primary focus on social media services and online reputation management — two big factors in the success for local businesses who can’t rely on the reputation or resources large chains have. With an MBA and a degree Communication Studies and Media Strategies, in addition to backgrounds in sales enablement and marketing for over 175 businesses across the U.S., we took our skills and experience to support local businesses beyond just being a customer. Read more>>

Kevanna Adams

Art has always been my thing since 2005. I’ve moved around different art fields from graphic design to cosmetology but I just couldn’t find my niche. So I gave it all up and went from retail to the hospitality industry. Until one day, my friends and I planned a birthday party, decided to go the cheaper route. I felt like I knew my way around the kitchen enough to make all of the treats so I did just that. They weren’t the best looking, but decent enough to serve to others and they taste great. I really enjoyed doing that so I posted the pictures. Someone then asked me to make treats for them as well. My hobby turned into a small side job. Three years ago, my funds were a little tight, so I found a job to be a cake decorator with no experience. In my interview, I had 15min to decorate a cake. They were amazed and so was I honestly and I got the job! I did that job for a year to perfect my craft and pushed my own business to where I am today!. Read more>>

Michael Thomas

I grew up in Dallas and attended Southern Methodist University after Booker T. Washington aka Arts Magnet. The earliest part of my college career sent me down the path of music performance and music therapy. When the university decided to temporarily suspend its music therapy department, I decided to study philosophy and religious studies. Those two majors don’t do much for immediate employability but they make for great dinner conversation. My biggest influence in college was Sigma Phi Epsilon, a fraternity that instills balance and growth in its members. I enjoyed the multiple aspects of managing a small organization through my college years and received the most joy from participating in volunteer events in the community, most notably the Special Olympics Volleyball tournament. Events like that one inspired me to seek a career in the disabilities world and I began my career at the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Read more>>

Karen Kaiser

As soon as the pandemic began, I noticed a need for cloth masks as they were not readily available in stores or online. I pulled my sewing machine out of the attic and went to work making reusable masks to donate to people in the community. I ended up making over 400 masks and donating them to doctors, nurses, grocery workers, delivery drivers, teachers, and pastors, all while quarantining at home with two small children. Once the need for masks disappeared, I realized that I didn’t want to stop creating. I began sewing dresses and skirts and shorts and other types of custom clothing for my daughter and her friends. Read more>>

Juline Mathe

A lot of people know about Jerk Chicken from visiting Jamaica and they come back home longing for that authentic taste. Real Jerk Chicken must be smoked not grilled or baked. If you don’t smoke it you can’t call it jerk chicken. I also created my own personal jerk rub. I wanted when you bite into my jerk chicken it is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. That’s what sets us apart from a lot of Jamaican restaurants. My menu is very simple. I offer Jerk Chicken and Oxtails. Two of my island’s most popular dishes. I figured if I focused on two items, I can deliver extraordinary service which is why most days we sell out within 3 hours. With that being said, it certainly did not come easy. There was a time in February 2021 where I thought about giving up and just going back to flying full time. I hit several roadblocks trying to find somewhere to park. My customers were hunting me down and week after week, I could not get permits because I have a trailer vs a truck.  Read more>>

Alexander Williams

Aura RainwaterTM was born at 3 am one morning while in meditation. Out of my love for Mother Earth, knowledge of structured water, water memory and concepts brought forth by Dr. Masaru Emoto, I envisioned and birthed Aura RainwaterTM. I contemplated how emotional energy has a massive influence on everyone and everything in life – including water! It is our emotions that drive our manifestations. I began looking at Dr. Emoto’s work about 15 years ago, and it popped back into my awareness in 2016. His studies have shown how the inherent nature of positive and negative thoughts and ideas can change the physical structure of water. Because humans are 80 to 85, maybe even 90% water, it made sense that not only hydration but water imprinted with high vibrational frequencies would optimize human function, performance and day and day interaction. Read more>>

Beverly Sigler

I have worked as a coach/personal trainer and teacher for 27 years. I teach corporate wellness and group exercise classes, including Being Balance Method and Being Balanced Assessment. After witnessing athletes and watching many overuse exercise, I created injury prevention strength and cardio training programs for all ages and all ability levels from children to Olympic-level athletes. I hope to help avoid rehab by helping my clients invest in my “pre-hab” program. I enjoy working with cancer survivors, and I earned my BA at SMU and my Personal Training Certification/Cancer & Exercise Specialist at the University of Northern Colorado. I served as the Danskin’s Women’s Triathlon Series trainer/cancer specialist and coach for its national Team Survivor program. Read more>>

Ash Padek

My journey to becoming a mompreneur has been an exciting one! It took years for my husband and I to beautifully blend our family of six. We were in the most perfect spot until covid hit. With four kids doing school from home, we had to step back and come up with a new plan. Obviously, we had to have someone here at home with them, and that someone would be me! So the whole influencer biz I kinda just stumbled into… honestly, it all started through FB marketplace. I have way too many clothes, so I started selling my items on there. I noticed that when I wore the items, they sold so much faster, so I began modeling all the items I posted.  Then I started getting requests for modeling/promotional opportunities. I decided at that point to truly attempt entering into the influencer world. At 34, I felt there was no way it would ever work out, but I was determined to go all-in for it anyways. Read more>>

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